Really? A Failed Citibanker for Treasury Secretary?
The Wall Street Journal isn't impressed by Jack Lew
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jan 28, 2013 1:31 PM CST
Jack Lew, who President Barack Obama has nominated to be the new treasury secretary, arrives on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for President Barack Obama's inauguration.   (AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool)

(Newser) – Few Wall Street denizens were laughing during the 2008 financial crisis, but if someone had said the head of Citigroup's Alternative Investments unit would be Treasury Secretary in five years "the line would have brought the house down," a Wall Street Journal editorial quips today. Jack Lew's CAI was infamous for hiding risky mortgage vehicles outside of Citi's balance sheet, and was full of collapsing hedge funds, all under the auspices of perhaps America's most troubled too-big-to-fail bank.

Lew's defenders say the damage was done before his 2008 takeover. But "taxpayers who ended up underwriting his seven-figure compensation might want to know what exactly he was doing to clean it up." Lew's backers also absolve him of guilt for his tenure atop Citi's Global Wealth Management Division, which sold toxic mortgage assets to clients. But again, no one can say what Lew did to improve matters. "There was a time," the Journal quips, "when you had to be successful on Wall Street to become secretary of the Treasury." Click for the Journal's full editorial.

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Showing 3 of 33 comments
HANKHILL
Jan 29, 2013 3:03 PM CST
no big deal, just another caliph barak hussein obamanation! FUBO! FUBAR!
Winston_Smith
Jan 29, 2013 6:51 AM CST
This is classic WSJ-editorial-hit-piece nonsense. They criticize Lew for refusing to take a Wall Street job for more money in 2004, then say that he's just like the people who did do that, who were responsible for creating the disaster that Lew cleaned up. Either the fact that he chose not to involve himself in the private banking sector until after the crash is important or it isn't, you can't have it both ways. Not unless you're on Rupert Murdoch's payroll, anyway.
BinThereDunThat
Jan 28, 2013 9:19 PM CST
It would be hard to pick someone out of that bunch of Wall Streeters that HASN'T screwed people over to get where they are.